April 14, 2022 by Dr. Bennett Richardson, PT, DPT
When we hear the term “movement analysis”, we immediately think of athletes. And why shouldn’t we? Sports involve tremendous force production, specific joint angles, and other features of athleticism that can’t always be effectively observed with the naked eye.
For this reason, we have seen wonderful advancements in the field of motion analysis using sensors and other methods that have taken sports performance to a whole new level.
But why do we only think of movement analysis with regards to athletes? If this technology helps us see aberrant movements in an athletic population that we might not catch in real time, doesn’t it follow that it may help us notice movement issues in other populations as well?
Yogger has considered these questions, and they have created the perfect movement analysis app that provides the solutions.
Let’s take a look at how Yogger’s motion analysis software can be used to improve treatment and patient outcomes in various populations.
Yogger for Athletes
PTs who specialize in sports injuries and the rehabilitation of athletes are (usually) intimately familiar with the basics of motion analysis. Further, sports physical therapists tend to be very comfortable addressing the majority of sports injuries with which patients present in the clinic.
However, athletes may offer a unique challenge to the general outpatient orthopedic therapist.
Typically, the early phases of an athlete’s rehab are easily managed by the physical therapist, regardless of his or her familiarity with this type of patient. It’s the later stages of an athlete's rehab that can trip up the unfamiliar therapist. Once the athlete is cleared to progress their rehab and return to play, how can they effectively transition back to running, cutting, and jumping?
Yogger can guide PT’s along the way in getting these athletes back on the field. General orthopedic therapists now have a tool that will help them catch things their eyes may have missed when the athlete’s rehab progresses to the later stages.
Similarly, sports physical therapists can rejoice at the chance to use a great new tool that will improve their treatment sessions by providing further data pertaining to the patient’s condition.
Yogger for Neurologically-Involved Patients
Patients with neurologic involvement often require significant assistance from therapists, support staff, and caregivers. There’s no doubt that many seasoned neuro PTs can gait train and provide assistance to a neurologically involved patient, while still recognizing what impairments are affecting said individual.
That being said, even the most skilled PT in the world could benefit from the use of easy, portable, motion analysis software that can be used on a Smartphone. Having a family member or colleague film the patient’s gait or activity in question while the therapist guards will allow the PT to sit down with the patient and the care team after the fact and review the findings. PTs can show the patient that she is relying on one side too heavily, improperly using an assistive device, or demonstrating any other deviation.
Yogger technology can provide qualitative and quantitative data which patients, therapists, PT students, family, and anyone else involved with the care of the neurologically-involved patient can easily interpret. More comprehensible data leads to an empowered patient. Empowered patients understand the link between their rehab efforts and progress toward their goals. Goal progression and improved understanding leads to better patient outcomes.
Yogger and Pediatric Patients
Many parents already take tons of pictures and videos of their kids. Documenting moments throughout a child’s life is a common practice and one that can be especially meaningful when the child is negotiating rehabilitation of one kind or another. Videos taken using Yogger software can provide additional data and show specific areas of progression as they occurred throughout the pediatric patient’s course of treatment.
In this way, pediatric patients and their families can see progress and be educated on what to look for when their child is moving or walking. Parents often feel overwhelmed when assisting their child through treatment. The use of video analysis provides more feedback to the parent or caregiver and can put families in a more active role with regards to the child’s rehab.
Yogger for Geriatric Patients
For the typical outpatient orthopedic PT, patients in their latter years tend to make up the bulk of the caseload. PTs are so used to treating the common conditions associated with this patient population that they sometimes neglect to educate the patient on the value of the interventions being implemented.
Yogger provides a perfect solution for this issue. This software allows the PT to communicate with their patient through the mobile app. Furthermore, PTs can use Yogger to modify, review, and progress home exercise programs. HEP compliance has long been an issue in physical therapy. Yogger might just be the way to show the value of performing home exercise while also keeping patients accountable to their PTs!
Yogger for Home Care and Mobile PTs
For those PTs that provide services in patients’ homes, there is sometimes no telling what a treatment session will entail. There may be tripping hazards abound, no space in which to conduct the session, and other impediments to effective treatment.
In some cases, especially in the era of COVID-19, PTs may not even be allowed to enter a patient’s home. If the patient or therapist is under quarantine, holding an in-person session is obviously impossible.
But as we all know, many conditions won’t improve without intervention. This is especially true for those issues relating to the musculoskeletal system requiring strengthening or increased flexibility.
Additionally, once the mobile or home care therapist has left the patient’s home, it’s easy for the patient to put off doing their PT homework. Some patients need that feedback from having the therapist right in front of them while they hold the session.
Yogger can effectively solve the issues of adherence and remote treatment by providing a way to send patients detailed messages and videos. More broadly, the ability to analyze the patient’s movement data all from a smart device can transform the world of mobile PT.
Yogger for Student PTs
While there are certainly other patient populations and PT niches that could benefit from Yogger software, let’s shift focus for a moment toward student physical therapists. When students are on their clinical rotations, they are often nervous in front of their CI’s and patients. It’s nothing to be ashamed of: they want to do a good job and learn the skills they need.
However, when nervousness takes over during patient evaluation and/or treatment, students often neglect their body mechanics. Additionally, a student therapist’s body language and facial expressions can significantly impact a patient’s response to treatment.
Yogger can address both of these issues. Students’ clinical instructors can film a brief video of them during their patient interaction to show them any issues that need to be corrected in order to best serve the patient and keep their own bodies healthy for the long careers they have ahead of them.
Movement Analysis and the Future of PT
As PTs, we are always striving to improve in any way we can. Sure, we can and should take continuing education courses, complete regular self study, and actively seek ways to improve our skills. But if we’ve learned one thing through the years, it’s that technology is constantly evolving. The digital revolution in PT has begun. Those therapists who resist the technology changes as they emerge are doomed to be left behind.
Yogger is a portable, accessible, easy technology solution that can improve clinician skills and lead to better patient outcomes. Check it out!